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DOTC defers bidding for Cebu airport project

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has deferred the submission of bids for the proposed P17.5 billion Mactan Cebu International Airport passenger terminal project due to changes in the concession agreement of the major infrastructure project.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said in a text message that the agency has decided to reschedule and extend today’s deadline for the submission of technical and financial proposals due to amendments to the concession agreement.

“The concession agreement will be finalized end of August and it is mandatory for the government to give at least 30 days after issuing final concession agreement before the bidding date,” Abaya said.

The prequalified bidders include AAA Airport Partners led by conglomerate Ayala Corp. and Cebu-based Aboitiz Equity Ventures together with Houston airport operator ADC&HAS; Filinvest-CAI Consortium of taipan Andrew Gotianun together with Singapore’s Changi Airport; Lopez-led First Philippine Airports together with New Zealand’s Infratil Asia Limited.

Other groups include the GMR Infrastructure and Megawide Consortium that includes India’s Delhi Airport; MPIC-JGS Airport Consortium composed of the tandem of infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and JG Summit Holdings of tycoon John L. Gokongwei Jr. together with Aeroports de Lyon of France; SM-led Premier Airport Group of retail magnate Henry Sy together with Switzerland’s Zurich Airport operators; and San Miguel-Incheon Airport Consortium of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. and the operator of South Korea’s Incheon Airport.

Several revisions in the concession agreement were made after a series of one-on-one meetings were conducted by the DOTC with the prequalified bidders. Issues resolved include who would shoulder the real property tax, among others.

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The public private partnership (PPP) project aims to modernize the country’s second-largest aviation hub and the gateway to the Visayas with the construction of a new world-class international passenger terminal building with a capacity of eight million passengers.

The project also included the renovation of the existing terminal building that has been operating at over-capacity with 6.7 million passengers going through the 4.5 million passenger capacity structure in 2012.

Michael Arthur Sagcal, spokesperson of DOTC, clarified that the deferment of the bidding schedule has nothing to do with the complaint filed by a certain Danilo Cruz of Hagonoy, Bulacan before the Mandaluyong City regional trial court seeking to prevent the DOTC from bidding the project.

Cruz questioned the one-on-one meetings held by the agency’s BAC with the seven prequalified bidders.

 “No, it has nothing to do with the complaint,” Sagcal clarified. Abaya earlier said only the Supreme Court could issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) involving major infrastructure projects.

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